Man with Seven Children and 21 Grandchildren Wins $80 Million in Michigan Lottery

A man with seven kids and 21 grandkids is now richer than ever after he won $80 million in the Powerball jackpot in September.
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A man with seven kids and 21 grandkids is now richer than ever after he won $80 million in the Powerball jackpot in September.

Phillip Chippewa, 54, of Suttons Bay, Michigan, said he almost walked out of a local party store without buying a lottery ticket when he changed his mind.

“Any time I see the jackpot getting up there I buy a few tickets and hope for the best. I stopped at Barrels and Barrels the day of the drawing and almost walked out without buying the tickets, but at the last minute, I decided to get four plays,” he said.

The next day, his wife, Dawn, said her sister told her someone who went to the store had won the Powerball jackpot.

“My first thought was: ‘He better have bought some tickets!” his wife recalled.

When she told him the news, Chippewa ran out to his truck where he had left the tickets and got a huge surprise.

He continued:

I ran out to take a look at them and I didn’t have to look past the first line to see I was the winner. Of course, my wife and son thought I was playing a trick, so my son pulled the numbers up on his phone and read them out loud while Dawn and I looked at the ticket together. By the time he was done, we both had tears in our eyes.

Chippewa said he wanted to confirm that he was the winner, so he drove back over to the Barrels and Barrels store to have the ticket scanned.

“As soon as we walked in the clerk asked: ‘Are you guys the big winners?’ I handed him the ticket and said: ‘We’re about to find out.’ When the terminal printed a receipt saying to contact the Lottery, we knew our lives had changed.”

However, Chippewa said winning the jackpot was not going to change who he and his wife are as a couple.

“My wife and I have been together for 25 years, we’ve always helped others and we’re both still working,” he commented.

“Every day when I come to work my boss asks me: ‘Why are you here?’ I just tell him that I was hired to do a job and I’m not going to abandon anyone just because I won. We’ll both retire in time, but we believe in being good to the community that has been so good to us.”

Chippewa will receive his winnings as a one-time lump sum of $55.3 million which comes to about $42 million after taxes. He plans to buy new homes for himself and his children and share the rest of the money with his loved ones.

“With seven children and 21 grandchildren, I’ve always said that I might not have the most money, but I am rich with family. Now, I have all the money I’ll ever need and can help my family for generations. That means everything to me,” he concluded.

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